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A dozen of Rep. John Conyers’ (D-Mich.) former female staffers are pushing back against reports of his alleged sexual misconduct and defending their ex-boss’ reputation, the Huffington Post reported.

READ MORE: John Conyers Steps Down As House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member

“While we do not pass judgment on the specific allegations reported in the press or the women who brought them, our experiences with Mr. Conyers were quite different than the image of him being portrayed in the media. Mr. Conyers was a gentleman and never behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner in our presence. He was respectful, valued our opinions, challenged our thinking, and treated us as professionals,” they stated.

The experiences of those ex-staffers with the embattled congressman contrasts with a picture of him that began emerging on Tuesday. It came to light that Conyers settled a sexual harassment claim with a former employee in 2015 for more than $27,000 with funds from his congressional budget. Former staff members also accused Conyers, 88, of making repeated sexual advances on female staff and allegedly transported other women to Washington with whom he was suspected of having affairs.

READ MORE: Rep. John Conyers Now Confirms Settling Sexual Harassment Claims But Denies Allegations

The high-ranking, longest serving member of Congress announced on Sunday that he’s stepping down as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee while he’s under a probe by the House Ethics Committee for sexual harassment. The announcement came after House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called for “due process” in Conyers’ case, calling him “an icon” who “has done a great deal to protect women.” However, some in the Democratic Party are calling for his resignation. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) said on Friday that an ethics investigation falls short of holding Conyers accountable.

SOURCE:  Huffington Post

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